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  • Anne-Marie Mougeot

Who Decided There is a "Good" and "Bad" Posture Anyway?

Updated: Feb 5, 2022

โ€œ๐˜ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆโ€ is something I hear all the time, often attributed as the reason many people have been led to believe for their pain.โฃ


๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ธ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐˜€๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฒ and Iโ€™ve been thinking a lot lately about where the notion of โ€œgood postureโ€ comes from. In my personal experience, it all dates back to childhood ballet classes where we were taught to ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ, to hold our shoulders back and head tall (oh, and ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ค๐˜ฌ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ! โ€“ more on that to come in future posts).โฃ


๐Ÿ’ƒ Although dance and sport have their own forms of posture training, the history of posture dates even further back to the development of military drill formation in the 16-17th centuries and carried forward to the social morality and medicalization of primitive posture which was used to separate 'primitive' from 'advanced' peoples and the 'ill' from the 'healthy.โฃ


Posture eventually became the focus of early physiotherapy and chiropractic with many traditional osteopathic texts also making reference to the requirement for the body to be in โ€œgood alignmentโ€ in order for the bodyโ€™s structures to function optimally.โฃ


The history of posture is an interesting one and what many might find to be disturbing (read: patriarchal and racist) practices.โฃ See my Instagram post below for more on the history of posture.

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